I discussed online shopping aggregators a few weeks ago and today I’m going to dive into one cash back site a little deeper – TopCashback.com. TopCashback has a unique revenue strategy that is able to pass 100% of the cash back to the consumer. Most cash back sites like FatWallet negotiate a rate with a website such as Staples.com. The site will then take a portion of that rate and pass the rest on to the consumer. For instance, if FatWallet negotiates a rate of 10% cash back at Staples.com, they take 3% and pass the remaining 7% on to the consumer. While 7% isn’t as high as 10%, it’s still better than the 0% we’d get if FatWallet didn’t exist. However, TopCashback devised a completely different model.
The way TopCashback works is instead of taking a portion of the rate they negotiate with an online store such as Staples.com, they have advertisements on their website. These advertisements pay for the hosting of the website as well as the salary of the employees. This means that instead of only getting 7% cash back at Staples.com, we would get the full 10% in this example. What does this mean for us? It means that we can save more money buying everyday items so that we can travel more! Another great thing about TCB is that they don’t require you to have a minimum amount of cash back in your account before you can cash out. You can get your money if you have $.01 or $100; it doesn’t matter.
Now let’s take a few stores to see how TCB does against its competition (as of 5/24/2012):
|Store||Top Cash Back||Competition||Difference|
|Staples||5.5%||Up to 2.5% – FatWallet||3%|
|ShoeBuy||17%||15% – Chase Ult. Rewards||2%|
|Target||Up to 9.5%||Up to 4.9% – Big Crumbs||Up to 4.6%|
|Kohl’s||6.1%||10% – Chase Ult. Rewards||-3.9%|
|FTD||26%||16% – Ebates||10%|
As you can see, against cash back sites directly TopCashback beats them all. In the case of Kohl’s with Chase Ultimate Rewards you see that they can be beat; but you’ll need a Chase Ultimate Rewards earning credit card such as the Chase Sapphire PreferredSM Card or the Ink Bold. With TCB there are no such restrictions. Check with CashBackHolic to make sure you’re getting the most cash back; but in most cases you’ll see TopCashback at the top of the list. You’ll need an account with TCB to earn cash back, but signing up is easy.
Deal of the Day
For today’s Deal of the Day FlyerTalk is giving away A FlyerTalk Luggage Tag & Hoodie combo for the best overall travel deal submitted. A great mileage run, mistake fare, partner promo, new card sign-up offer, or the special twist you figured out on a deal today. Add it to the comments section of this post (with your First Name, Last Initial, and 3 letter airport code) or this afternoon’s Deal of the Day post to be eligible to win.
IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card
- Annual Fee: $49 fee waived for the first year
- Foreign Fees: No
- Card Type: Hotel
The IHG Rewards Club Visa is often cited as one of the most underrated hotel credit cards, with good reason. The official offer is for 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within three months, with the first year’s fee waived. The card comes with an annual free night certificate that can be used at any IHG property, including Intercontinental hotels - making this certificate worth upwards of 50,000 points. This is far more generous than some other hotel cards, which limit the categories in which free night certificates can be redeemed.
Cardholders earn 5 points per dollar at IHG hotels; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1 point per dollar everywhere else. Moreover, you’ll get a 10% rebate on award redemptions, up to 100,000 points per year. The card also comes with Platinum status, though that doesn’t get you much with IHG. Still, this is a fantastic card to have in your wallet, with benefits that far outweigh the already low $49 annual fee.
- Earn 70,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
- Enjoy a free night of card membership at over 4,700 hotels worldwide
- Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
- Bonus points redeemable at hotels such as Intercontinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
- Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
- $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49